For 24 hours I can celebrate my countries achievements, unabashedly. Technically I could do that every day but that wouldn't be very Canadian of me.
There tends to be a one sided joke of what it means to be Canadian. It focuses on what we are not, rather than who we are. Personally, I am very proud to be Canadian. It may not be easy to define, yet it is very much there, an identity that is unlike any other.
Because of this, it is ironic that I am most seen as a Canadian when I am not in my own country. At home I'm always asked where I am from, whereas here, the question is the same but the answer is completely different. This can be tiresome at times but then I remember not to sweat the small stuff. Once my ancestral puzzle is complete people are more than willing to take me at face value. Instead of making rapid assumptions they take the time to get to know me and that is what I like best.
The ability to see people for who they are and not what you presuppose is a true talent; it is one of those ever attaining goals of mine. Blunders are bound to happen but after a while you get better at it. Living in Canada I think is great for this type of experience. You meet so many different people every day and get to talk with them and hear their stories. After a while nothing can surprise you until you accidentally run into that one person from so-and-so…..
I remember as a kid in grade 5 how my best friends and I made a group. We were the “Shrimp Club” and the conditions for getting in were very diminutive. We had fun together and didn’t feel the need to ignore or blatantly voice our differences. I think the self-nickname “United Nations” said it all. By the way, I was Secretary General, if your interested.
All in all, I just wanted to wish everyone a happy Canada Day! Heaven knows I never really celebrated it when I lived at home, but you’re never too old to get patriotic fever. Enjoy the fireworks and the food stands. I am very sad that I will be missing the free pancake breakfast, so have a double helping on me. Above all have a good time and share some thoughts on what you love about Canada.